How’s that for a title!
Well, I was reading another blog about the origin of the author’s user name,
She said, “I don’t know what my teenage self would think about all of this, she would probably be horrified.”
Immediately upon her saying that I started wondering, what would my teenage self think of me, and the things I do?
First off, we know she would be horrified, humiliated, period. It wouldn’t matter if I was tall, slender, famous, or what. Teenagers are just horrified, as in not impressed at all, by their adults, period. So I think what she’d do is look at my short, pudgy, not famous, bipolar, Christian self, shake her head, and say, “PSH.”
And the dialogue would go like this. She’d confront me with anger: “You’re still not married? You still haven’t written any books? Not even one? And look how fat you got! How come you never got a handle on that? What a loser!” and she’d make that “L” sign on her forehead, even though it had not been invented yet …
And then she would despair: “You know, I’m depressed enough as it is. It doesn’t get any better? Are you serious? It gets worse?? Why should I even try? I should just get it over with now!” And she’d curl up in a ball.
And then she’d reconsider, she’d get that look on her face she’d learned from all the snooty girls at school. The look that says, “You’re dead to me.”
I have known for a long long time that I often fall victim to the voices in my head. I’ve identified then as my mother, my sister, my dad, that teacher, that girl, you know, just about everybody I ever came across.
I’ve heard it said that all of us have at least one person who is the reason we are still alive. I’ve had a few that, were it not for them, I’d be dead. These were the teachers who said I was a good writer, or, by the way they listened, that I was a person of value.
I never realized, though, how much of that destructive voice in my head was me. Which also makes me remember all the therapy sessions where I loved on my “little girl,” told her how much I loved her and how she wasn’t a failure, and she did the best she could, and she was pretty and smart and important …
And now I meet The Teenager.
Can I love her? tell her she’s pretty and smart and important?
She’s kinda mean.
But I guess probably by that age she had already learned to be defensive and closed, with that false bravado I have come to cherish. You know, the person who walks into a room and with what appears to be great confidence shakes hands with everyone, and then seeks out the broken one who needs a friend to talk with and make her feel less lonely. All because she is the one who is lonely and needs a friend. But God forbid she would ever say so.
Anyway … teen self meet present self, I am sorry you are disappointed and closed and defended … I’m sorry you didn’t get to be one of the cool girls. I’m sorry you are still waiting for the day when all your dreams will come true.
But let me tell you what is real about your life and what is good about your life. Did you know you have a son? And that you have made a difference in a lot of people’s lives? How even though your body is bigger you don’t hate it so much? You even have a best best friend who buys chocolate cake and rolls her eyes with you. May I make one suggestion? Maybe take that cigarette out of your mouth now before you have to try to quit after thirty years.
And I do love you. You are amazingly pretty, and smart. It is too worth it, most of the time. Oh, and come meet God. And not the one you grew up with. Come see.